Richard Nash spent his career as a writer and a speaker (not always by choice). He worked in management and marketing for Intermountain Healthcare for 35 years and previously served as a speechwriter and jokewriter for political and corporate leaders. He’s a former bishop and has also served as stake Young Men president, Gospel Doctrine teacher, and nursery leader. Most recently he is the author of 3 Keys to Help You Give a Better Talk. His previous book, Lengthen Your Smile, is a best-selling collection of brief stories (most of them funny) that illustrate faith-based ideals. Richard and his wife, Laurie, have three children and four grandchildren.

Richard Nash


02:10 Introduction to Richard and his book, 3 Keys to Help You Give a Better Talk

07:50 Richard’s book was inspired by David O. McKay.

10:40 Principle 1: Have an objective

  • The objective is the message you want listeners to take away from your talk.
  • Keep your objective to one sentence.
  • You are normally assigned the topic but take the time to pray and read and figure out the objective that you need to teach.

14:30 Is your lesson objective clear? How can you make it clear?

16:20 Richard shares his own personal experience of giving a talk and creating a clear objective and an attention grabbing opener.

17:45 Principle 2: Share examples

  • People love stories. They connect with stories.
  • We remember stories more than anything else we talk about.
  • Stories are a way to show our personality.

22:30 Richard shares how he uses his own personal stories to connect with people.

28:00 Tips for sharing stories

  • Keep a journal of your stories.
  • They should be simple and day-to-day things. It doesn’t have to be a huge experience.
  • Reference scripture stories or other people’s stories but bring your own personal experience into it.

32:45 Principle 3: Emphasize application

  • What can people do because of the things that I’ve spoken today?
  • Emphasize how people can apply principles to help them live the gospel every day.

36:00 The typical sacrament meeting talk is on a conference talk. We are putting their talk in our words. What can we do differently?

37:00 Nervousness is part of giving a talk. It makes us humble and gives us the experience of leaning on the Holy Spirit.

45:00 Is humor appropriate in a sacrament talk?

51:00 Tips for preparing a talk when you are assigned a topic or given a conference talk to speak to

53:50 Oftentimes our objective in Sunday School is to cover the material or certain chapters of scripture. We need to take the time to search those scriptures to find an objective that will help people live their lives.

57:15 Write down notes, quotes, and make an outline but don’t write out your talk verbatim. This allows the Spirit to interrupt us and give us guidance.


3 Keys to Help You Give a Better Talk
Teaching Through Better Stories in Sacrament Meeting Talks & Lessons | An Interview with Matthew Dicks
Read the TRANSCRIPT of this podcast
Watch on YouTube
Get 14-day access to the Core Leader Library

The Leading Saints Podcast is one of the top independent Latter-day Saints podcasts as part of nonprofit Leading Saints’ mission to help Latter-day Saints be better prepared to lead. Learn more and listen to any of the past episodes for free at

Past guests include Emily Belle Freeman, David Butler, Hank Smith, John Bytheway, Liz Wiseman, Stephen M. R. Covey, Julie Beck, Brad Wilcox, Jody Moore, Tony Overbay, John H. Groberg, Elaine Dalton, Tad R. Callister, Lynn G. Robbins, J. Devn Cornish, Dennis B. Neuenschwander, Anthony Sweat, John Hilton III, Barbara Morgan Gardner, Blair Hodges, Whitney Johnson, Ryan Gottfredson, Greg McKeown, DeAnna Murphy, Michael Goodman, Richard Ostler, Ganel-Lyn Condie, and many more in over 500 episodes.

Discover podcasts, articles, virtual conferences, and live events related to callings such as the bishopric, Relief Society, elders quorum, Primary, youth leadership, stake leadership, ward mission, ward council, young adults, ministering, and teaching.

How do we help leaders

Pin It on Pinterest